Posts Tagged ‘Scott Brown’
December 20th, 2012 at 9:19 am
Ben Affleck to Replace John Kerry in the U.S. Senate?

If U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) becomes the next Secretary of State, expect several dominos to fall.  Soon-to-be-former Senator Scott Brown seems poised to run in yet another special election.  Bay State Tea Party groups will have to decide whether to support a member-turned-establishment figure like Brown over someone more conservative, but arguably less able to win.

And then there’s Ben Affleck.  What?  According to The Daily Caller, Affleck, the Hollywood star and Massachusetts native, recently met privately with Senator Kerry in Washington, D.C., possibly to discuss running for the latter’s open seat in 2013.  If you’re looking for qualifications, Affleck graduated from Harvard, won an Academy Award for co-writing “Good Will Hunting,” and founded the East Congo Initiative.  Oh, he’s also married to actress Jennifer Garner.

But if Affleck isn’t your ideal Senator, remember, it could be worse.  Minnesota gave us Saturday Night Live’s Al Franken.  If Affleck takes a pass, America could get his friend and Palin-hater, Matt Damon.  Can you imagine Damon and Elizabeth Warren together?

September 24th, 2012 at 1:28 pm
Elizabeth Warren and the Truth about Environmental Hoaxes

Last week, in her first debate with U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren tried to nationalize their contest in terms designed to solidify her support from Bay State environmentalists:

“Senator Brown has been going around the country, talking to people, saying, you’ve got to contribute to his campaign because it may be for the control of the Senate.  And he’s right.  …  What that would mean is if the Republicans take over control of the Senate, Jim Inhofe would become the person who would be in charge of the committee that oversees the Environmental Protection Agency.  He’s a man that has called global warming ‘a hoax.’  In fact, that’s the title of his book.”

To be fair to Senator Inhofe, who, as the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is in line to lead the panel if Republicans become the majority, the full title of his book is The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.

The hoax Inhofe describes is the use of Climategate-manipulated science to legitimize massive increases in taxes and regulation.

In its war on coal, the EPA has been at the forefront of the environmentalists’ push to tax and regulate an entire industry out of existence; most specifically by requiring coal operators to adopt expensive and experimental manufacturing techniques that are already making it necessary to lay off workers and close down plants.

By parsing Inhofe’s insight about how global warming alarmists politicize science to justify liberal policies, Warren was trying to substitute Inhofe’s complete rejection of global warming for Brown’s position on the issue.  In fact, Brown thinks global warming/climate change/something is happening.  But like Inhofe, he thinks that getting the job market growing again trumps spending billions of dollars on policies built in part on scientific fraud.

Brown shouldn’t shy away from this issue so long as he frames it correctly.  The environmental activists that Warren was playing to won’t be voting for him anyway.  But the independents that put Brown in office two years ago know that job-killing taxes and regulations don’t make sense; especially in an era of chronic unemployment.

May 9th, 2012 at 12:10 pm
Live by Identity Politics, Die by Identity Politics
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We’re still early in the 2012 election cycle, but it’s going to be tough to top Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s diversity scandal (which I’m dubbing “Tipigate”) for irony.

As Ashton noted here last week, Warren — who has been liberalism’s “it girl” of the past few years — is in hot water after it emerged that she claimed Cherokee ancestry during her time as a member of the Harvard faculty.

According to a new piece by Alex Pappas in the Daily Caller, not only is the Cherokee connection dubious (the Warren relative in question was referred to as “white” in the census count), the family tree isn’t exactly Native American-friendly:

Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson, citing a genealogist, claimed Tuesday that Massachusetts Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry includes a great-great-great grandfather who helped round up Cherokees in the days leading to the Trail of Tears.

Warren, of course, shouldn’t be held responsible for the vices of her forebears. But consistency would dictate that she thus has no claim on their virtues either.

May 3rd, 2012 at 6:54 pm
Massachusetts’ Warren Checking All the Liberal Boxes

John Fund nails liberal Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren for being a consistent fraud.  In the last week her bid to unseat Scott Brown has taken two steps backward with the revelation that although she listed herself as a Native American for over a decade as a law professor, she – at most – is only 1/32 Cherokee; and even that connection is in dispute.

The incident confirms Warren as a practitioner of the liberal art of claiming multiple diversity status; in her case as a woman and a Native American.

Just as revealing is her decision year after year to pay Massachusetts’ lower state income tax rather than a voluntary higher rate as she insists wealthy people like her should do.

Fund’s conclusion:

Warren is free to believe that she has Native American ancestry, just as she is free to keep as much of her money as she is legally entitled to. But her choices in filling out forms are instructive. In checking the boxes claiming Native American status for so many years and in not checking the box to pay a higher state income-tax rate, she has revealed more than we need to know to brand her as yet another sanctimonious liberal who wants to have it all ways.

If Warren’s misfires keep up, Scott Brown will once again benefit from running against an unusually self-destructive liberal.

August 20th, 2011 at 7:19 pm
Tea Party to Back Scott Brown Over Elizabeth Warren?

Though Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) hasn’t exactly been the reincarnation of John Adams, some Bay State Tea Party leaders are weighing whether helping reelect the moderate Brown is better than sitting back and letting him duke it out with Harvard professor and Obama protégé Elizabeth Warren next year:

“Elizabeth Warren is a game-changer,” Varley said. “Elizabeth Warren is a dyed-in-the-wool progressive. We can say we may not be thrilled with Sen. Brown, but we certainly don’t want Elizabeth Warren.”

Unlike other GOP moderates like Senators Olympia Snowe (ME), Orrin Hatch (UT), and Richard Lugar (IN), Brown will likely get a pass in the primary, and have uber-liberal Warren to show as a much worse alternative.  Between now and November 2012, hopefully Brown gives Tea Party voters something to vote for.

H/T: FoxNews

September 24th, 2010 at 2:11 pm
Hispanic Dem Plays Identity Politics with Vietnamese Republican Challenger

Remember when then-candidate Scott Brown made reminded David Gergen that the U.S. Senate seat he was contesting didn’t belong to the Kennedy family or the Democrat Party, but the people of Massachusetts?

Well, here we go again.  This time it’s Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) complaining that the Vietnamese-Americans supporting Republican Van Tran’s candidacy are really trying to deny the Hispanic community its rightful claim to congressional representation.  Only in the Democrat Party can identity politics be used as a justification to elevate one ethnicity over another.  After all, the logical implication of Sanchez’s statement is that the Vietnamese in the district are not entitled to having one of their own in Congress.

Time will tell if Sanchez’s district in Orange County, CA – once a bastion of conservatism – can rid the people’s house of this kind of ethnic superiority complex; allowing America can get back to debating real issues, not cosmetic ones.

July 19th, 2010 at 9:00 pm
The Republican Version of ‘Deflation’

According to some economists, deflation is the biggest financial risk to the American economy.  In a nutshell, deflation means prices are decreasing, which is usually caused by merchants trying to stimulate declining demand by selling goods cheaper.  If the lower prices don’t sell, people get laid off, factories shut down and there is no joy in Mudville.

It turns out that many Republican Senate candidates are threatening their own version of deflation; part economic, part emotional.  Former presidential speechwriter Marc Thiessen shows that many of the favored GOP Senate challengers are, in fact, big spenders.   Mark Kirk (IL), Mike Castle (DE), Roy Blunt (MO) and John Hoeven (ND) – even one-time Tea Party darling Scott Brown (MA) – are all “vetted” politicians whose records predict senators who will be voting “Yes” when it comes to spending in the national interest.

In an election cycle where Tea Party-backed a candidate like Sharron Angle (R-NV) is being called “wacky” for daring to suggest Social Security should be privatized, it’s easy to overlook the fact that Republican control of the Senate may not have much effect on the chamber’s legislative output.

Nothing would deflate Tea Party aspirations more than a Republican Senate that could get more members to caucus with the likes of pro-stimulus, pro-financial reform Olympia Snowe (R-ME) rather than fiscal conservative stalwart Jim DeMint (R-SC).  If that happens, get ready for a third party bid that severely cripples the Republican brand.

March 23rd, 2010 at 9:57 am
Obama Becomes King Pyrrhus with ObamaCare “Victory”
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After a wasted year in office during which he could have concentrated on revitalizing American employment, Barack Obama presides over a smoldering rubble that was once his electoral mandate.

Yet he and his administration label this radioactive ObamaCare ordeal a “victory?”

Obama began his self-destructive crusade last year possessing the strongest Democrat majorities in decades, but finished it with a string of jarring defeats in Virginia, New Jersey and then Massachusetts.  He entered office riding a crest of popularity and goodwill, but then saw his approval drop worse than any elected President in the history of scientific polling.  His wasted year ignited the Tea Party movement, and propelled Republicans to enormous leads on the generic ballot as November elections approach.

For such a supposedly effective leader, he could only manage to win a razor-thin victory despite enormous Democrat Congressional majorities.

And for what?  Over 90% of Americans already possessed insurance when Obama went on his hyper-partisan warpath, 90% of whom were satisfied or very satisfied with their care.  Even under the rosiest projections, ObamaCare will add only 5% to that number of insured.  Meanwhile, another $1 trillion will be piled atop the rotting federal budgetary heap, Americans will literally be compelled by law to purchase insurance that bureaucrats deem appropriate, unemployment festers at a 10% rate fully one year after Obama’s “stimulus” and Democrats may lose one or both houses of Congress.

Any more divisive, costly “victories” like this, and the term “Pyrrhic victory” will soon be renamed “Obama victory.”

February 24th, 2010 at 1:11 am
Why Son of Stimulus is a Bad Idea
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With five Republicans voting for cloture in the Senate– Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Kit Bond, George Voinovich, and (surprise!) Scott Brown — we should expect the Congress to pass its new “jobs bill” this week (in reality, this is like a 100-calorie pack version of the stimulus).

It’s not surprising that some Republicans are feeling the pressure to get behind this legislation. The perennial temptation in times of economic crisis is to get behind anything that seems like it could make a difference. This is not that piece of legislation.

Let’s start with the basics: At $15 billion, this package could be financed with what’s between the cushions of the sofas in the Oval Office. But that’s still $15 billion in new debt that can’t be justified without a commensurate kick to the economy. This package can’t deliver that kick.

The big hooks for Republicans are going to be the exemption from payroll taxes for new employees through the rest of the year and the $1,000 tax credit for new employees who are retained for a year. These provisions will have positive economic effects, but they will be very subtle. Because this bill only aims to jumpstart the employment side of the market without addressing broader economic conditions, it will make it slightly cheaper to hire new employees, but won’t create enough economic activity to justify employers adding many new hires to their payrolls. As with the similar plan that was tried during the Carter years, this most likely means that the majority of the benefits will go to hires that would have been made with or without the package. Given the limited time horizon of the bill, we should also expect its net effects to be similar to “Cash for Clunkers” — that is, just moving up hiring decisions instead of changing the fundamentals behind them.

The other provisions are no more impressive. This package will subsidize further borrowing by local and state governments, which only continues the sugar-high spending that simply can’t be sustained even in the best of economic times. And while infrastructure spending is certainly a legitimate function of government, it’s hard to sell as a strategy for increasing employment. After all, the mark of good infrastructure development — quick, efficient construction — is fundamentally at odds with the idea of creating jobs that are meant to endure for the long-term.

This certainly isn’t the worst piece of legislation to come out of the Age of Obama, but it also isn’t much more than a placebo. Until Washington begins to focus on shrinking the size of government, however, we shouldn’t expect the prescription to change much.

February 1st, 2010 at 11:51 am
Before Scott Brown, Democrats Had a Deal
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According to The Hill newspaper, Democrats reached a tentative compromise on health care just days before Massachusetts elected Scott Brown.  Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) stated that an agreement was reached on January 15. 

Of course, it is an indictment of this Administration’s transparency pledge that you’re reading about this news in February and didn’t watch the discussions live on C-SPAN.  Senator Harkin’s revelation underscores just how deceptive the White House was in negotiating the future of health care behind closed doors and how important Scott Brown’s victory was in defeating ObamaCare.

A few million Americans in Massachusetts made their voices heard loud and clear, but judging from last week’s State of the Union Address, the White House is still not listening.

January 27th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
Should Libertarians / Conservatives Support Socialized Health Care?
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The obvious answer is no, but economist Arnold Kling would like to run an experiment between a completely decentralized market system and a government-run single payer system.  To the victor go the spoils.

Kling writes:

Instead of having a big national contest over what health care system, why not try single-payer in one part of the country and radical deregulation in another? Switzerland, which is about the size of Maryland, has different health care systems in each of its 20-odd cantons, which are about the size of Maryland counties. Surely it must be possible to try different health care approaches in Texas and Massachusetts.

Since states are supposed to be the “laboratories of democracy,” this proposal might make sense.  Of course, Massachusetts and Mitt Romney have already tried aspects of ObamaCare (state-run exchanges and individual mandates) and the results should be a sobering reminder to politicians.

Massachusetts has the highest health care premiums in the nation and state expenditures are far above projected levels.  Massachusetts’ failed experiment finally merited some political capital for supporters of a free market system when Bay State voters essentially derailed ObamaCare with their vote for Scott Brown.

Voters appear to be taking notice.  Politicians?  We’ll find out tonight.

HT: Peter Suderman

January 25th, 2010 at 7:18 pm
Reconsidering “The People’s Seat”

In the wake of Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown’s upset victory, it looks like there might be slogan for other Republican senatorial candidates to ride to victory.  Brown got the nation’s attention when he reminded David Gergen that the seat he was running for didn’t belong to the Kennedy family or the Democratic Party.  It is “the people’s seat”.  Now the Republican frontrunner to take President Obama’s old senate seat is saying the same thing in Illinois.  That kind of populist shout-out certainly energizes the voters and activists disdainful of machine politics.  But it also serves as a reminder of how different U.S. Senate elections have become since the Founding Fathers framed them.

Originally, state legislatures elected United States Senators.  The idea was to give the states themselves a voice in the national government.  The effect was to make a state’s U.S. Senator similar to a prime minister because a vote for a state legislator was (indirectly) a vote for a U.S. Senate candidate.  (Incidentally, John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” has a delightful chapter about one such race featuring Missouri’s incomparable Thomas Benton.)  Of course, the Seventeenth Amendment changed all that when it made senators directly elected by a state’s voting public.  Had the original constitutional structure been retained, Scott Brown would likely not be Massachusetts’ new senator because the state’s legislature is dominated by Democrats.  On the other hand, if it were still in effect, would it be more or less likely to have senators who thought of themselves as mini-presidents?  If less, it seems likely that representatives of one government to another would be much more likely to question the expansion of the federal at the expense of the states.

Maybe then we wouldn’t need to worry so much about senators getting captured by the trappings of office.  Their state legislature would be quick to pry them out if ever they forgot for whom they worked.

January 22nd, 2010 at 1:05 pm
Where Do Brown and Romney Go From Here?

While some may have seen former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking at Senator-elect Scott Brown’s victory rally on Tuesday night, it may not have been apparent how deeply Romney was involved in getting Brown past the post.  Once again, Romney displayed a stunningly effective campaign machine that was slick, nimble, and full of money.  Unfortunately, Brown’s signature campaign issue was running against ObamaCare, which is achingly similar to RomneyCare – the one term governor’s biggest legislative legacy.

In less than four years, Massachusetts voters are so displeased with their state’s version of universal health care that they sent a Republican to Washington to be the vote that stops ObamaCare.  But Brown has a problem too.  He voted for RomneyCare while a state senator.  Since being elected, he’s said he supports expanding coverage as long as costs are reduced.  Good luck.  Though Brown will vote for a do-over on health care reform he is clearly signaling that he won’t just be a no; rather, a yes-but.  As in, yes, I agree we need to expand health care coverage – maybe even individually mandated universal health care coverage – but I don’t like some of the elements of the Democrats’ current plan.  If that’s the case, then Brown may be less a Tea Party go-er and more of a tinkerer.

The same is true for Romney.  He likes details and policy and loves to get into the weeds of government to make it run more like a business.  Since that’s his background as a highly successful turnaround artist, it makes sense.  But that may not be the path to the Republican nomination in 2012 when so many voters want leaders who will say no to tinkering, and yes to rolling back federal programs, bureaucracies, and spending.  Now that Romney has helped elect Brown, maybe it’s time for Brown to show Romney whether a Massachusetts Republican can gain a national following being a yes-but politician.

January 20th, 2010 at 11:41 am
Senate Democrat Wants to Pause Health Care
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Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) has recommended that Democrats hold off on any health care votes until Senator-elect Scott Brown can be seated.

Webb stated, “I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.”

With a margin of victory of more than 100,000 votes and a concession speech from his opponent, Martha Coakley, Brown should have no trouble arguing that the race is settled.  Now, it’s up to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to honor the will of her fellow Democrats and the voters of Massachusetts.

January 19th, 2010 at 9:35 pm
Brown Wins!

The Associated Press just called it

Republican Scott Brown has defeated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in the race for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts.  


With 100% of the precincts reporting

Scott Brown (R):  52% – 1,168,107 votes

Martha Coakley (D):  47% – 1,058,682 votes

Joseph Kennedy (Lib.):  1% – 22,237 votes

For a vote breakdown by town, click here.

January 19th, 2010 at 7:22 pm
Who Are These Guys?

In the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch keeps asking about their relentless pursuers, “Who are those guys?”  With President Barack Obama’s approval ratings plummeting, a supposedly “safe” Senate seat in danger, and health care “reform” on the ropes, the same question could be asked about the so-called White House strategists.  In the wake of a national and state-specific repudiation of President Obama and his policies, his advisors are promising defiance, not conciliation.

According to Politico, the real lesson to learn from Scott Brown’s surging popularity is voter frustration with the lack of progress Democrats have made on Obama’s agenda.  Huh?  Let them explain.

But the president’s advisers plan to spin it as a validation of the underdog arguments that fueled Obama’s insurgent candidacy.

“The painstaking campaign for change over two years in 2007 and 2008 has become a painstaking effort in the White House, too,” the official said. “The old habits of Washington aren’t going away easy.”

More likely is that the old hacks practicing The Chicago Way are doing the only thing they know how to do – fight like hell regardless of the reality.  Butch and Sundance made a similar decision at the end of their lives (and the movie).  How did that work out for them?

January 19th, 2010 at 6:45 pm
Scott Brown’s Lesson to Would-Be Candidates

In an environment that did not (and in many ways, does not) favor Republicans, Scott Brown tossed his hat into the ring to replace liberal icon Ted Kennedy. At the time, the conventional wisdom held that whoever won the Democratic Primary was a shoe-in to win the special election Senate race. Maybe that’s why Martha Coakley took a vacation after securing the Democratic nomination. Scott Brown went to work.

But the important lesson about Brown isn’t that he worked hard, shook hands outside Fenway Park, or reminded Beltway mandarins like David Gergen that the seat up for grabs belongs to the people of Massachusetts. It’s that he was in a position to do those things in the first place. He ran when the only people supporting his candidacy were his family and friends. He campaigned when the eyes of the nation were fixated on the Senate health care debate, the undie-bomber, and NBC’s late night implosion. And because he labored in obscurity when bigger names took a pass, he was in a position to speak truth to people; simple, common sense truths like “we can do better” on health care reform.

Scott Brown has no business being this close to becoming Massachusetts’ first elected Republican U.S. Senator since 1972. If he loses, he ran the race of a lifetime. If he wins, he gets to claim a special piece of campaign history. Either way, he’s been more inspirational than most political celebrities pining for just the right time. Take a look at Scott Brown – he just created his.

January 19th, 2010 at 5:55 pm
Follow CFIF for Election Night Coverage
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Tonight, CFIF will be tweeting live during Election Night in Massachusetts.  The race is a pure tossup between Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley.

When in doubt, though, we trust the markets.  Intrade, the betting market for all things political, currently predicts that Brown has an 84% chance of winning, a huge increase from earlier this month.

You can learn more and follow CFIF on Twitter by clicking here.

Click here to follow us on Facebook.

January 19th, 2010 at 12:41 pm
Democrats See Writing on the Wall?
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The current political environment for Democrats appears gloomy.  The President’s approval rating continues to hover around 50%, Democrats can claim few political victories and now there is a strong chance that a Republican will be the next Senator from Massachusetts. The GOP has not captured a Senate seat in the Commonwealth since 1972.

A victory for Republican Scott Brown would make the passage of ObamaCare exceedingly difficult and perhaps kill its legislative prospects altogether, though Democrats will not completely cede the issue to the GOP.

As voters head to the polls in the Bay State, recent predictions are confirming that Brown has a legitimate shot at the seat.  Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight projects a Brown victory based on aggregate polling data since the first week in January.  Silver writes, “Coakley’s odds are substantially worse than they appeared to be 24 hours ago, when there were fewer credible polls to evaluate and there appeared to be some chance that her numbers were bottoming out and perhaps reversing.  However, the ARG and Research 2000 polls both show clear and recent trends against her.”

Charles Franklin at Pollster agrees with Silver.  Franklin noted, “Across all models, Brown leads by between 1.0 and 8.9 points.  Three quarters of the estimates have Brown ahead by 4 points or more.”

And now, Politico reports that some Democrats are working up contingency plans if Scott Brown proves to be the 41st vote against a government takeover of health care.  Their plan: Blame Republicans.  One Democratic staffer noted, “Sure you could say it’s worse because we didn’t pass anything.  But it might be better to get past this as soon as possible, and bring it up for a vote in the Senate, let Republicans kill it – and then blame them for everything.”

Nice strategy.  Voters will surely reward you for delivering on your message of transparency, lower taxes for the middle class and affordable health care.

January 19th, 2010 at 10:48 am
Massachusetts and Pelosi’s Plan B on ObamaCare

Today, all eyes are on Massachusetts as Bay State voters head to the polls to decide the fate of the U.S. Senate seat previously held by the late Senator Ted Kennedy.  Will Republican State Senator Scott Brown pull it out against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley?  We will all know soon enough.

The special election between Brown and Coakley is, in large part, a referendum on President Obama’s agenda, including health care reform.  The President himself, while avoiding the health care issue as much as possible, all but admitted as much during a campaign speech for Coakley on Sunday.  If Brown does pull off a victory, Democrats will lose the 60th vote in the Senate needed to sustain their filibuster-proof majority to pass ObamaCare and possibly other legislation on President Obama’s agenda.

But that is not discouraging some in the Democrat leadership, most notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  According to Alex Koppelman at, Pelosi commented about the situation during an event in San Francisco yesterday:

“Let’s remove all doubt, we will have healthcare one way or another. … Certainly the dynamic would change depending on what happens in Massachusetts. Just the question about how we would proceed. But it doesn’t mean we won’t have a health care bill.”   

How can the Speaker be so confident?  According to a report in yesterday’s New York Times:

The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders, scrambling for a backup plan to rescue their health care legislation if Republicans win the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday, have begun laying the groundwork to ask House Democrats to approve the Senate version of the bill and send it directly to President Obama for his signature.

In other words, Plan B for Pelosi appears to be to ask her caucus just to approve the Senate-passed health care bill, avoiding another vote in the Senate altogether.  That’s a big ask considering the numerous and significant complaints many in her caucus have expressed about the Senate bill.

If Scott Brown wins today in the most liberal state in the Union, the message to rank-and-file Democrats about health care “reform” and President Obama’s overall agenda should be clear.  If Brown wins and they continue to follow Pelosi’s lead and pass ObamaCare “one way or another,” they ignore that clear message at their own peril.